August 2021 has been something special for us — Ukraine marked its 30th anniversary of independence, hooray! A lot has been achieved so far, and a lot is yet to come, including Ukrainian music.
To celebrate this remarkable date, one of the major concerts took place in Kyiv — The Ark ‘Ukraine’: Ten Centuries of Ukrainian Music. This concert-collage reimagined more than 20 masterpieces of Ukrainian musical heritage: from archaic carols to platinum singles, and all that supported by a multimedia installation.
The concert was aimed to ‘reload’ the country’s music archives, making them interesting to the modern listeners from all over the world. A special guest of the concert was 85-year-old singer Dominika Chekun — the custodian of the ritual singing tradition of historical area Polissya, who performed in duo with a young folk-rap artist Alina Pash. And a cherry on top was the performance of the legendary DakhaBrakha, organically accompanied by the symphonic orchestra.
Another August’s achievement was brought by Tanu Muino — Ukrainian video maker, whose music video for Lil Nas X’s Montero (Call Me By Your Name) got 5 MTV VMA nominations. It was Muino's first video as co-director, part of which was done remotely via Zoom after she had falsely tested positive for COVID-19. This one of the most resonant clips of the year touches on rather controversial topics of religion and LGBT. And like one of the Youtube commenters pretty accurately observed: ‘Seeing someone go down a pole to hell and then proceed to give Satan a lap dance while singing is something you don’t see everyday’.